Causes Of Gallbladder Cancer

Like other types of cancers, the primary cause of gallbladder disease unknown. However, there are several factors that experts l with the causes of gallbladder cancer. These factors are:

Changes In The DNA

Gallbladder cancer may happen due to variations in the DNA of cells present in the gallbladder. It may also be due to mutations that turn on oncogenes or turn off tumor suppressor genes. These changes in the DNA can happen during a person’s lifetime or through inheritance.

  • Inherited gene mutations: Some genes from the parents tend to increase the risk of gallbladder cancer. However, according to experts, this type of gene mutations is not the primary cause of gallbladder cancer.
  • Acquired gene mutations: On the other hand, these are mutations that happen during the patient’s lifetime. Furthermore, these are changes that are present only in the cells that come from the original mutant cell.

Risk Factors For Gallbladder Cancer  

Having a risk factor or several of them does not mean that you will get gallbladder cancer. However, risk factors increase the chances of getting the disease. (1)

There are several cancer causes and risk factors, and these include:

The Patient’s Age

Gallbladder disease is more common in older people than younger people below the age of 65. The chances of someone developing gallbladder cancer may also increase after age 72.

Family History

Having a family member who has a history of gallbladder cancer enhances the risk of developing the disease. However, this danger is still small because gallbladder cancer is a rare disease.

Race And Ethnicity

Gallbladder disease is more common in Mexican-Americans and Native Americans than in people of other races. The primary reasons for these racial differences are not clear. They are also more likely to have gallstones than members of other ethnic and racial groups. Lastly, the risk is lowest among African Americans. Gallbladder cancer is much more widespread in India, Pakistan and Central European.


Gallbladder cancer is more common in women than in men. However, experts are still conducting more studies regarding this claim.


These are the most common risk factor for gallbladder cancer. They are pebble-like collections of cholesterol and other substances that form in the gallbladder and can cause chronic inflammation. Though, most people with gallstones never develop gallbladder cancer. (2)

Porcelain Gallbladder

This is a condition in which the walls of the gallbladder becomes covered with calcium deposits. It sometimes comes up after a long-term inflammation of the gallbladder a condition known as cholecystitis, which can also be caused by gallstones. Those with this condition also have a higher risk of developing gallbladder cancer.


Majority of people with gallbladder cancer have more often overweight or obese. Obesity is, therefore, a risk factor for gallbladder cancer because it is associated with gallstones.

Gallbladder Polyps

This is a growth that typically bulges from the surface of the inner gallbladder wall. Additionally, these are formed by cholesterol deposits in the gallbladder wall. Furthermore, bigger polyps are more likely to be cancer.

Bile Duct Abnormalities

People with bile duct abnormalities tend to have a higher risk of developing gallbladder cancer. The research on what causes these abnormalities is not clear the research is underway.

Choledochal Cysts

These are bile-filled sacs that are connected to the common bile duct (the tube that carries bile from the liver and gallbladder to the small intestine). These cysts can grow larger with time and the cells lining the sac may have areas of pre-cancerous changes which may increase the risk of gallbladder cancer.


Do We Know What Causes Gallbladder Cancer? (n.d.). Retrieved September 20, 2017, from American Cancer Society:

Gallbladder Cancer Risk And Causes. (n.d.). Retrieved September 20, 2017, from Cancer Research UK: